Captain America: Civil War
[I attended a free advanced screening of “Captain America: Civil War” for fans in Toronto, Ontario, as part of a Twitter promotion.]
“Captain America: Civil War” is the first movie in phase three of Marvel’s cinematic universe plan, and they start it off with a bang. The story was exceptionally well paced and keeps you glued to the screen for most of the nearly 2 ½ hour film. There are a couple of things that pull you out of the story, including the late addition of Spider-Man to the cast. Overall, it was a compelling superhero movie that was less about picking sides than the marketing would have you believe. The conflict between Captain America and Iron Man was more of a philosophical difference and less about punching each other into oblivion.
The acting was what you’d expect from everyone involved. Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Chadwick Boseman, Scarlett Johansson, and Elizabeth Olsen all deliver solid performances. Olsen and Paul Bettany really stood out with slightly larger roles in this film than in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” As much as I, and others, want a Miles Morales Spider-Man, Tom Holland was a perfect casting choice for Peter Parker — even if he was shoe-horned into the movie.
Inclusivity has been something Marvel movies have struggled with as far back as the original “Iron Man.” Still, “Civil War” does somewhat better — though it didn’t pass the Bechdel-Wallace test despite having more women (three) than any Marvel movie to date. Where the movie really excelled was with casting people of color in roles that matter. Black Panther was introduced and holds a position of power within the Wakandan government. War Machine and Falcon are both prominent members of the Avengers.
Awesomeness is where all Marvel movies excel, and “Captain America: Civil War” was no exception. The fight scenes were amazingly choreographed. Even with all of the heroes in the movie, this was very clearly a Captain America film. Action, story, morality play, and philosophical differences all mixed together in a near perfect harmony as Marvel explored the idea of how the world would react to enhanced people in our midst — and did it in a more direct, less symbolic way than Zack Snyder did in “Batman v Superman,” which this move will surely be compared to.
Overall, this is a solid entry in phase three of the Marvel cinematic universe. If Marvel continues to improve on the inclusivity of its titles, by the time the “Infinity War” is over, we may start seeing a push to some of their newer books: Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, a Miles Morales Spider-Man or perhaps even Spider-Gwen. That would absolutely be welcome.